Trump should focus on issues more important than a military paradeBy Emily Barron | 02/21/2018 9:21am
On February 6th, the Washington Post broke the news that Donald Trump wanted to organize a military parade after returning from his trip to France for Bastille Day. While in France, Donald Trump was front and center for the two hour parade honoring the military men serving the state of France.
It’s apparent that the President of the United States is pushing the military leaders of our country to roll out a parade in an attempt to compete with France. Rather than letting a country honor its troops for their efforts during the French Revolution, Trump feels the need to up-stage France with a military parade that sends the message “mine is better than yours.”
Rather than focusing on a military parade, why doesn’t President Trump focus on more important issues such as gun policy, foreign affairs or domestic issues concerning minorities? During his election campaign Donald Trump continuously promised that he was going to fix the national debt crisis, yet here we are over a year later, with Trump wanting to spend money the U.S. government does not have on a parade that no one asked for.
A parade march in Washington D.C. would require spending millions of tax payer dollars in training, maintenance, and transport dollars alone, not to mention the extra fuel required for driving tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue and flying fighter jets over Washington. In addition, the logistics of setting up a parade with seventy-ton tanks in the middle of one of the biggest cities in our nation is not a realistic situation. Not only would this parade inconvenience the lives of those living in D.C. but it would also set our country back millions in taxpayer money.
There are those who could argue in favor of Trumps military parade. In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt held a military parade before the United States entered World War Two. If FDR can have a military parade, then why not Donald Trump?
However, FDR was attempting to rally the American people behind the possibility of U.S. entry into the war. The United States is not on the cusp of a global world war, and rather than divide the American people more through debate of an unnecessary military parade, why doesn’t Donald Trump attempt to unite the people through other, less boisterous ways? Let's focus on uniting the American people through equality, fairness and respect.
America needs more than a President so concerned with appearances. Donald Trump is attempting to put on this parade in an attempt to portray that the United States is the biggest international military power. The United States does not need to dole out its military power every time our world leader feels threatened or shown-up. Rather than pulling off a massively unnecessary authoritarian military show, the President should focus on what this country truly is: a democracy. Mr. President, let’s focus on the people again.
The American people do not need a military parade; they need policy change and progression towards a country they can believe in again.
Emily Barron is a senior majoring in Anthropology. Her column runs biweekly.